‘Gusto kong maiyak sa galit’: Faeldon says first time to hear GCTA for sale claim

Aika Rey
‘Gusto kong maiyak sa galit’: Faeldon says first time to hear GCTA for sale claim
(UPDATED) Dismissed Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon claims no knowledge of the alleged anomaly in the agency that he headed for almost a year

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Sacked prisons chief Nicanor Faeldon said he had never heard about an alleged scheme to pay off prison officials for the early release of inmates during his short stint at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

After the Senate hearing on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) late Thursday, September 5, an enraged Faeldon told reporters that he “felt like crying” when he heard a Bilibid inmate’s wife talk about how she paid BuCor officials P50,000 in exchange for her husband’s release.

“Noong narinig ko ang testimony, gusto kong maiyak eh kasi I worked hard everyday to try to fix the bureau. Gusto kong maiyak sa galit (When I heard the testimony, I want to cry because I worked hard everyday to try to fix the bureau. I want to cry of anger),” said Faeldon, who was BuCor chief from November 2018 until he was sacked on September 4.

Faeldon however has come under fire himself over the aborted early release of convicted rapist-murder Antonio Sanchez, who was alleged to have lived a luxurious lifestyle in Bilibid. Faeldon’s previous stint as customs chief was also marred by corruption allegations.

At the hearing, Yolanda Camilon testified that she allegedly paid thousands to BuCor official Ramoncito Roque and Senior Inspector Mabel Bansil to get her husband released by March. When the officials failed to deliver, she demanded that the two return her money but they never did, she claimed.

“Putangina. Maraming inosenteng napapahamak. Kung totoo ‘yan, masama ang loob ko kasi innocent people are crying because of those stupidity. Nakakalungkot sa bayan kung merong mga ganyang tao sa gobyerno,” Faeldon said.

(Son of a bitch. A lot of innocent people are getting victimized. If that’s true, I feel bad because innocent people are crying because of those stupidity. It’s a sad day for the country if there are these kinds of people in government.)

Faeldon said the scheme, if proven to be true, is “worse than heinous crimes.” He said those people deserve to be punished by death “over and over.” (READ: ‘I can soundly sleep,’ says Faeldon after sacking)

“Tingin ko doon, masahol pa ‘yan sa heinous crimes. You know why? Kahit maliit na pera o malaki, ‘yung hinihingan nila ng pera mga preso – they are the lowest member of our society. Tapos aapihin mo pa nang ganyan? Dapat diyan bitayin ng paulit-ulit ang ganyang mga tao,” Faeldon said.

(I think it’s worse than heinous crimes. You know why? Regardless of whether the money involved is big or small, they are asking for money from prisoners – they are the lowest members of our society. Then you will take advantage of the people like that? They should be executed over and over.)

Republic Act No. 10592 or the 2013 GCTA law was put under the spotlight after the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed in early August  that Sanchez was among the 11,000 inmates up for early release after the Supreme Court made the law retroactive in application.

The law provided new guidelines on computing good conduct time for reduced prison time. In June, the SC ruled that it should be applied retroactively, allowing sentences of those convicted in the 1990s to be slashed by about half. (READ: Heinous crime convicts still entitled to lesser GCTA – Guevarra)

Lawmakers grilled Faeldon over Sanchez’s botched release at Senate hearings this week, specifically why he allowed it and what prompted him to recall his decision. Senators were not sold on his version of the story. (READ: ‘Obviously lying’: Senators don’t believe Faeldon

Following the Senate hearings, and amid public outcry, President Rodrigo Duterte fired Faeldon on September 4.  Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.